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The Costumes At Burning Man Are Better Than Halloween


Burning Man Costumes

When it's nearly 100 degrees in the middle of the Nevada desert, clothing is limited, and sometimes even optional at Burning Man — "an annual art event and temporary community based on radical self expression in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada."

But for those who do choose to wear clothing, it's all about the costumes.

And the ornate outfits have become a huge part of the festival.

Bikinis, body paint, tutus, masks, headdresses, wigs, floral crowns and feathers  it's all there. Often all worn at once.

We attended the festival last year and documented what we saw...

Everyone used bikes to get around the Burning Man desert, but that didn't stop people from breaking out their best costumes.

Like this guy, who went all out in green.

Or this creative dog-in-a-cage costume.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

107 New York Airbnb Hosts May Be Breaking The Law


brian chesky

Airbnb on Tuesday sent the New York state attorney general information on 107 hosts in the New York area, a source familiar with the case told Business Insider. 

These are people who have multiple listings on Airbnb that the AG suspects may violate hotel laws.

The source told Business Insider, "This afternoon, at the request of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) pursuant to OAG’s May 14 subpoena, Airbnb provided unredacted information on 107 Airbnb hosts who listed multiple apartments for rent. This information includes names, contact information, Host and Listing IDs, and rental and payment information."

The number of hosts on this list is smaller than the one that Airbnb said the New York attorney general requested late last month. At that time, Airbnb had warned the public the attorney general wanted records on 124 hosts who rented multiple units on its website, past and present.

After Airbnb's warning, a group of 21 anonymous Airbnb hosts sued to block Airbnb from giving the NY AG their information, reports the New York Law Journal. Airbnb says it isn't turning over the records of any of the users who filed the lawsuit. An Airbnb spokesperson offered this comment on Tuesday's request:

Last month, we followed our normal procedures and notified a small number of hosts that their data had been requested by the New York Attorney General under a subpoena. We will not take action with data from hosts who have previously filed suit until the court makes a decision and we will respect the court's decision.

The NY AG says it's going after people who are running illegal hotels, meaning not following hotel regulations or paying hotel taxes.

Airbnb has previously said that it's perfectly willing to collect taxes on behalf of its hosts and guests, but that current New York law doesn't allow it to do so. 

Airbnb filed a lawsuit to quash the NY AG's original request which sought this same detailed information on nearly all of the company's 16,000 NY hosts. A judge sided with Airbnb and quashed the subpoena

Airbnb then agreed to provide data on 124 of those hosts, saying they could be "individuals who may be flagrantly misusing our platform." It also admitted that when the NY AG started looking into its business, "we reviewed our community in New York and removed some bad actors who were providing a low-quality experience." Airbnb banned about 2,000 New York hosts from its system.

We asked the NY AG to provide us with one example of the 127 hosts it requested, to see what a host who misuses the Airbnb platform looks like. The AG declined our request.

However, when the AG originally began this hunt for Airbnb hosts in April, it sent us this list of the type of Airbnb users it was after. All but one of them are no longer hosts on Airbnb.

We blurred out the one host who's still active on Airbnb to protect his identity.

NY Airbnb users

SEE ALSO: Airbnb Has Banned The Condo Squatters For Life

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14 Simple Hacks To Upgrade Your College Dorm Room


dorm college lofted beds

While seeking a higher education, society expects you to live in a 15' x 15' box with another person.

Welcome to the tedium of dorm life, where the mattresses are hard, the walls are white, and everyone gets the same furniture like some communist utopia.

Luckily, there are a few easy ways to your room so much more livable. Keep reading to see 14 easy college dorm hacks.

1. Loft your bed. This one’s tricky, but raising your bed will create more space in your room, and you can always find an intrepid engineering major in your hall if you need a hand. Once lofted, you can put your desk, a small couch, or storage boxes underneath your bed.

Lofting can be dangerous if done incorrectly, so check with your university first to see if it's allowed or if they provide adjustable loft beds on campus.

bed risers with power2. If you can’t loft your bed, buy bed risers. Bed risers come in a range of sizes, and create more storage space under your dorm bed. Some even come with additional electrical and USB outlets, too.

3. Create a DIY headboard. Dorm room twin beds are not very attractive, but you can spruce yours up by creating your own headboard. All you'll need is cardboard or plywood, quilt batting, fabric, and a staple gun.

Cut out a rectangle (or your own design) from the cardboard or plywood, making sure it will be wide enough to rest on the rail of your bed. Fit a layer of quilt batting to the board and staple. Then lay your chosen fabric over the quilt batting, and secure in the back with more staples. Click here to see one blogger's DIY.

Once your headboard is complete, slide it between the back of the bed and the mattress, and rest on the rail.

4. Hang removable wallpaper. If your school allows it, decorate one of your blank walls with a sheet of removable wallpaper. It will brighten up the space, and make it feel homier and less like a stark white box.

You can find removable wallpaper at sites like Tempaper and Chasing Paper, or Etsy.

5. Buy a floor ottoman. Floor ottomans can be used as additional seating, storage space, or as a stepping stool. You can easily find options for under $50 at Target or Wal-Mart.

washi tape hang pictures on wall6. Frame your posters and photos with colorful Japanese ‘washi’ tape. The colorful, easily removable tape comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and will give your photos a frame without having to buy or hang one.

CuteTape.com has a lot of color and style options to choose from.

7. Invest in a deluxe mattress topper. A durable and thick mattress pad will make a world of difference on your tiny dorm bed. Memory foam toppers that are over an inch thick are ideal (don't worry about getting a twin XL — a twin-sized mattress pad will work fine).

Pick out quality sheets, a duvet/duvet cover, plus soft pillows for the best bed ever.

8. Hang over-the-door shoe organizers for extra storage. Plastic over-the-door shoe organizers can be used to store extra shampoo bottles, hair brushes, make up, candy, water bottles or any other miscellaneous objects that need a home. See this Pinterest board for inspiration

9. Label your power cords. Write “computer,” “phone,” “lamp,” etc. on masking tape, and secure to each power cord so you always know what you're unplugging.

You can also use colorful bread tags if you're feeling crafty.

10. If you can’t have curtains, wallpaper your window shade. Buying a curtain rod at Target is easy, but if you can’t or don’t want curtains in your dorm, use removable wallpaper on your existing window shade. It will add pattern and style to the room. Martha Stewart has an excellent rundown of how to do it.

hangers with pop soda tabs11. Use soda can tabs on hangers to hang more stuff. Pry off your soda can tab and slip onto the hanger's hook. You can now easily hang another hanger from the empty hole of the tab, thereby giving you more space in your tiny dorm closet.

12. Put velcro on your TV remote. If you’re lucky enough to have a TV in your dorm room,  you might find that the remote disappears behind beds, couches, and doors very easily.

Save yourself the trouble and put velcro on the back. Choose a convenient spot like your desk, bed, or wall to stick the remote to so that you know where it is at all times.

13. Buy command hooks and strips. These genius strips and hooks can hang Christmas lights, picture frames, and anything else you may want to put on your walls without creating nail holes. Find them at any convenience store.

14. Use space-saver bags to store out-of-season clothes. Clothes take up a lot of space, and there's really no point in hanging your sweaters and winter jackets when it's still 90 degrees. Put unwanted items in a space saver bag, and keep it under your bed until the seasons turn.

SEE ALSO: I Went To Summer Camp For Adults And It Was Like A Frat Party On Steroids

DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's Life On Facebook!

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20 Stunning New Buildings From Around The Globe


9. Narigua House P+O Architecture NariguaThe World Architecture Festival is one of the largest architecture events in the world, with attendees from 40 different countries presenting their buildings to be judged as the best of the best.

This year's festival will be held from October 1st to 3rd in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands.

Nearly 300 projects made the official 2014 shortlist, and the architects responsible will each have a chance to make their case to a panel of architecture super-judges in October. Categories this year include Civic & Community, Housing, Shopping, and Culture, among others. 

Each of the 27 categories can only have one winner, and only one structure can win the prestigious World Building of the Year awardWe picked some of our favorite buildings in the running.

Akiha Ward Cultural Center by Chiaki Arai Urban and Architecture Design, Niigata, Japan (shortlisted in Culture)

Stamp House by Charles Wright Architects, Queensland, Australia (shortlisted in House)

Yalikavak Marina Complex by Emre Arolat Architects, Bodrum, Turkey (shortlisted in Shopping)

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A Major Retailer Just Wrote A Powerful Takedown Of The Fashion Industry


Modcloth founder Susan Koger

The cofounder of online fashion retailer Modcloth has challenged the industry to stop Photoshopping models in a powerful open letter posted to the company's website.

"The message we hear time and again is that only 'aspirational' imagery sells, and over time, the industry has converged on a very narrow definition of the word. A definition that makes many women and girls feel like they are not and cannot ever be good enough," Susan Koger writes. 

Target photoshopped model

"There’s a rising outcry online, in blogs and in social media, of people questioning the status-quo and begging for a change. Is anyone listening?"

Modcloth recently became the first retailer to sign a pledge promising not to retouch its models. Koger's letter challenges other retailers to follow Modcloth's lead.

"[I'm] deeply disappointed in the way my industry depicts fashion to consumers," Koger writes. "It is time to put an end to the extreme Photoshopping and the false and unrealistic expectations placed upon women (and men for that matter)."

She followed up her letter with this video summarizing her points.

Koger has spoken out against the industry's shunning of plus-sized clothing and models in the past. 

"For too long, plus-size women have been relegated to what has been called the 'plus-size ghetto,'" she told Business Insider in June as Modcloth announced it would be expanding its plus-size offerings. "Businesses have limited offerings for them, and often don't take the time to make sure the clothing will fit a curvier person."

To coincide with Koger's letter, the company is asking customers to submit selfies for a chance to be featured on the website. Hundreds of customers have submitted their pictures, including those shown below.

ModClothHere's Koger's full letter: 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved fashion. I love the whole process: the excitement of shopping, the thrill of finding something unique, and that powerful, transformative experience that happens when you put on a garment you love and it makes you feel like the best version of yourself.

As the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of ModCloth, I’m proud to call myself a fashion insider; but I’m also deeply disappointed in the way my industry depicts fashion to consumers. I look out, and it seems less about helping people find fashion they love to wear, and more about convincing them that they need to conform to one eerily consistent standard of beauty. A standard built on highly altered and often unrealistic images.

I think we can do better.

Close your eyes and think about the last dozen fashion advertisements you’ve seen (if you’re an average American, you’re seeing about 3,000 advertisements a day). Try to recall how many ages, body shapes, and sizes were represented in those ads. Now think about the people in your life: your family, friends, and co-workers… Why is there such a big disconnect?

The message we hear time and again is that only “aspirational” imagery sells, and over time, the industry has converged on a very narrow definition of the word. A definition that makes many women and girls feel like they are not and cannot ever be good enough. But the industry hasn’t always been this way, and it doesn’t have to be this way today. ModCloth even recently conducted a third party survey that found that nearly two-thirds of women report “having more loyalty to a brand that celebrates beauty in all shapes and sizes.”

There’s a rising outcry online, in blogs and in social media, of people questioning the status-quo and begging for a change. Is anyone listening? Sure, occasionally we see “real body” layouts, but then it’s back to business as usual. I think now is the time for real change.

It is time to put an end to the extreme Photoshopping and the false and unrealistic expectations placed upon women (and men for that matter). This is why ModCloth recently became the first to sign The Brave Girls Alliance “Truth in Advertising Heroes Pledge,” an anti-airbrushing petition which aims to “do our best not to change the shape, size, proportion, color and/or remove/enhance the physical features, of the people in our ads in post-production.”

On behalf of ModCloth, I am making this commitment to our customers:

Models: We will continue to cast a variety of women sourced from our community, and show them as their true selves.

Merchandise: We will source, make, and sell clothing in a broad range of sizes.

Community: We will listen to our customers as a community and put them at the center of everything we do.

Not only is this our pledge to you, it’s also a challenge to the industry, because reflecting women as they really are should be the rule — not the exception.

Let’s show the rest of the world what the real and varied fashion landscape looks like. My hunch is that it looks an awful lot like you.

—Susan Gregg Koger

SEE ALSO: The Worst Photoshop Fails Of All Time

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19 Apps We Can't Live Without


business insider group shot

Having a helpful app on your phone can go a long way. But with thousands of apps available for both iOS and Android, it can be tough to know which are worth downloading.

Here at Business Insider, we use apps every day, whether for getting our work done, staying up-to-date on the news, or making the most of our precious downtime.

We've rounded up some of our favorites here.

Dark Sky has amazingly accurate up-to-the-minute weather forecasts.

Available on iOS, $3.99

"Easily the best app to dodge the rain. You know how much rain and for how long. It's never failed me and each time I bring it out, people always download it." —Sam Rega, Video Editor

"Super helpful, especially in NYC when you're out walking around all the time." —Pamela Engel, Reporter

Skitch makes it easy to mark up photos with text, arrows, and other shapes.

Available on iOS and Android, Free

"Love this app. I use it to draw attention to things in photos that folks might not notice. It helps photos stand out in your social feeds, if only because there is some graphic element on the photo." —Daniel McMahon, Copy Chief

With Venmo, you can make payments with just the touch of a button.

Available on iOS and Android, Free

"My boyfriend and I Venmo each other to share rent, utilities, groceries, and other household expenses, and I use it all the time when I go out to dinner or drinks with friends." —Melissa Stanger, Associate Editor, Lists & Rankings

"I never carry more than $20 anymore, so this is super helpful when going out with friends and having to split a bill." —Rebecca Borison, Tech Intern

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

An Ivy League Education Can Be Surprisingly Cheap


yale university campus

With many elite private colleges now charging students more than $60,000 a year, higher education may seem like an unattainable goal for many low-income students.

However, the idea that attending an elite school means shackling yourself to a lifetime of debt is one of the most persistent myths in higher education.

At the core of this misunderstanding is an often striking difference between a college's sticker price — the full cost of tuition and fees often most visible on a website — and the net price — what families actually pay after financial aid and grants.

The Ivy League schools offer particularly generous need-based financial aid packages to students, thanks to their large endowments. On average, around half of students at those eight colleges receive financial aid, with an estimated average aid package of $40,000 for the 2012-2013 academic year.

And while the published tuition and fees for private institutions around the U.S. topped $30,000 for the 2013-2014 school year, the typical student received $17,630 in grant aid and tax benefits, according to the College Board.

Many higher education advocates say that colleges could be doing a much better job to publicize the difference between sticker price and net price.

"You can make big statements about being accessible, and have need-blind admissions and really low net prices for low-income kids, but still enroll very few of those low-income kids, by doing minimal outreach ... There has to be a commitment to go out and find them," Catharine Bond Hill, president of Vassar College, recently told The New York Times.

cp 2013 figure 11As The Times notes, while the number of low-income students attending college in America has seen a significant increase since the 1990s, the percentage of low-income students at selective colleges — about 15% — has stayed the same. The Times also explains why some top schools may be hesitant to advertise their financial aid opportunities:

Colleges generally spend 4 percent to 5 percent of their endowments per year on financial aid, prompting some administrators to cite this rough math: Sustaining one poor student who needs $45,000 a year in aid requires $1 million in endowment devoted to that purpose; 100 of them require $100 million. Only the wealthiest schools can do that, and build new laboratories, renovate dining halls, provide small classes and bid for top professors.

The rankings published by U.S. News and World Report, and others, also play a major role. The rankings reward spending on facilities and faculty, but most pay little or no attention to financial aid and diversity.

Last year, Business Insider spoke with John McDonough, CEO of Studemont Group College Funding Solutions, who shared a few strategies he gives low-income families who feel priced out of elite schools:

Never miss a deadline. "For some families on the low-income side, they probably haven't had the ability to save anything for college. They're living paycheck to paycheck. What we tell those families is there are still some deadlines you have to meet. Number one, make sure you get your SAT tests done on time. Apply early enough and then go through the financial aid process on time so that you can be sure you've done everything right."

You can negotiate financial aid offers. "A lot families have never heard that you can appeal colleges and negotiate them after they've sent a financial aid offer. That's why we tell students to apply to multiple schools, not just one. You can use those other financial aid offers as leverage [when negotiating]. You write a letter to the school, saying that you can not afford X dollars of what they expect and ask them to please re-work their package. We have much better luck negotiating with private schools than we do big state schools. [Public schools] have a set budget and they can hide behind it.”

Visit admissions offices in person. "If you can walk into the college admissions office we find that to be sometimes beneficial. That way, you're not just a number on a paper and you become a real person."

Mandi Woodruff contributed to this article.

SEE ALSO: There Are Now 50 Colleges That Charge More Than $60,000 Per Year

FOLLOW US! Check Out BI Colleges On Facebook

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I'M SHMACKED: Inside The Brand That Glorifies The Worst Parts Of College Partying


I'm Shmacked

The local newspaper in Syracuse, New York recently informed its readers that "the fastest-growing party brand on America's college circuit" was coming back to Syracuse University.

The paper noted that the brand, I'm Shmacked, made headlines last fall when it spurred a riot at the University of Delaware, and that it was "raising debates over the line between harmless young indulgence and excessive, destructive behavior."

I'm Shmacked is hugely popular among high school and college students. Their videos have racked up more than 25 million views on YouTube, their Facebook page has more than 100,000 likes, and they have more than 160,000 Twitter followers. In 2012, the popularity of the videos landed I'm Shmacked a profile in The New York Times.

The company has reportedly been valued at $5 million.

I'm Shmacked's 21-year-old co-founders, Arya Toufanian and Jeffrie Ray, travel around to big college campuses in the U.S. to throw raucous parties and make videos showing students' over-the-top antics. The startup is often compared to "Girls Gone Wild" — I'm Shmacked videos have a similar vibe, but focus almost exclusively on college parties rather than wild spring breaks.

The videos can fuel competition among schools. Many students at party schools view I'm Shmacked videos as a badge of honor that helps them out-party one another.

The ugly side of the videos

I'm Shmacked

The brand is also drawing backlash. The negative attention has some students worried these videos could hurt their schools and, by extension, their future careers. Of course, college students will always throw drunken parties and maybe even riot with or without I'm Shmacked. But college officials told us the presence of video cameras at college parties encourages out-of-control behavior from students who want to appear in viral clips.

Another concern is that videos produced by I'm Shmacked promote a "rape culture" and unsafe environment for female students on campus. Less than two months ago, the company posted a video to its YouTube page titled "Signs She Wants The D" in which a host asks people in Miami how they know a woman wants sex.

One guy said: "It depends on what she's wearing. If she's got on leggings, she definitely wants the D. If she got on a skirt, she definitely wants the D." Another man said: "It's up to you. You're the man."

And a video posted last year focused on the theory that girls like "a**holes" and featured students saying things like, "Treat her like dirt and she’ll stick to you like mud."

These videos are especially concerning because there's a major conversation on college campuses across the country right now surrounding sexual assault and the safety of students. Colleges have been accused of mishandling sex assault cases, and the federal government has stepped in to investigate certain schools.

Business Insider first became interested in I'm Shmacked when one of its founders threatened a Business Insider reporter with rape on Twitter.

Toufanian distanced I'm Shmacked from the comments made in these videos.

"It's content. The students at the university choose the questions, we film it," he told Business Insider. "We do not advocate or encourage anything said on camera, we simply film."

Some students, unhappy with the negative image tied to the videos, have started turning on I'm Shmacked. Fraternities at some schools have banned I'm Shmacked from filming on their property, and students have protested on social media to prevent I'm Shmacked from coming to their campuses, students and university administrators told Business Insider.

But Toufanian and Ray still have plans for expansion. They're starting to turn their party videos into a business, with an eye on book deals and licensing their footage.

The rise of I'm Shmacked

I'm Shmacked logoI'm Shmacked began as a video startup.

Toufanian met Ray in New York's Penn Station around 2011. Ray had been filming high school parties around Philadelphia, and once the two got to talking, they got the idea to film college life at campuses around the country.

"He was filming in high schools and I thought to myself, 'Why don't I film college,'" Toufanian told Business Insider. "It was really the right place at the right time."

The pair hoped to attract companies (which could presumably become sponsors) looking to reach young adults, according to Upstart Business Journal.

Three months into the venture, I'm Shmacked videos started to go viral.

The first few videos showed party scenes, sports, and picturesque college campus shots set to the beat of rap music. The videos racked up tens of thousands of views.

Ray and Toufanian then started to legitimize the business.

After the videos took off, an advertising agency in New York invested $300,000 in I'm Shmacked, according to Upstart. 

Now, I'm Shmacked is hoping for more big-time investments. Toufanian recently tweeted about chatting with billionaire entrepreneur and "Shark Tank" investor Mark Cuban. I'm Shmacked's main Twitter account then started tweeting about the possibility of Cuban investing in the company. (The tweets have since been deleted.)

It's unclear whether that will ever come to fruition. When asked about whether he's in talks with I'm Shmacked or planning to hear a pitch from them, Cuban told Business Insider: "Nope. Just exchanged messages." Toufanian declined to comment.

The effort to monetize the I'm Shmacked business also includes booking venues near big college campuses and selling tickets to events.

Toufanian told us I'm Shmacked hires security and brings in police to control the events, but the parties can still get wild. Last week, 35 people were arrested at an I'm Shmacked event in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Of those people, 34 were under the legal drinking age. 

"Almost every show has incidents," Toufanian said. "When you have a sold out event with 2,000+ college students in a concentrated area, there might be incidents. We take these incidents very seriously. We implemented increased precautions such as restricted alcohol sales, additional security, and staff to monitor the partygoers and help assist them with water, a cooling-off area, etc."

The most obvious sign that I'm Shmacked had hit it big was the rioting that happened at the University of Delaware last year when the group announced on Twitter they were on their way to Newark, Delaware to make a video.

A party at the men's rugby team house devolved into an out-of-control rager. Three people were arrested and the rugby team was suspended for five years.

Chris Lucier, the vice president for enrollment management at the University of Delaware, told Business Insider the school's I'm Shmacked visit — and the riots that ensued — didn't seem to have a lasting effect on the university. But the university still doesn't want the party scene to attract the wrong type of student.

"If there's a student who's using I'm Shmacked to decide where to apply or enroll, frankly, I don't want the applying or attending the University or Delaware," he said.

"A new way to scout colleges"

I'm Shmacked

Viral videos aren't the end game for I'm Shmacked. The brand bills itself as "a new way to scout colleges," encouraging a culture where students base their higher education decisions on which school throws the best parties.

"It's a platform for high school students as well as college students to look at schools that they maybe can't afford to visit," Toufanian said. "If they can't afford to visit the school, they can go on YouTube."

These tweets — which were retweeted from I'm Shmacked accounts — show the influence of I'm Shmacked on college decisions:

Predictably, the influence of I'm Shmacked has angered university administrators. I'm Shmacked is "highlighting the parts of college that don't need to be highlighted," Bronson Hilliard, the assistant vice chancellor for media relations at the University of Colorado, Boulder, told Business Insider.

Hilliard (along with several other sources Business Insider spoke to, including current college students) also said the partying seen in I'm Shmacked videos is exaggerated.

"It's like any reality TV show. You're going to inject an element of unreality into it when you stick a camera in somebody's face because they're going to act more exaggerated than they normally would," Hilliard said. "It glamorizes overconsumption of alcohol and drugs and it gives you a false sense of what the social norm is on a campus."

Toufanian admits the videos are sensationalized,\ but said I'm Shmacked employees aim to shoot candid footage and don't encourage people to do anything they're not supposed to be doing on camera.

"Of course college isn't a big party … we film it in about a week and we chop it up," Toufanian said. "It's very important for our company to include the party footage to be able to attract our audience. There's no point filming a video that's brochure-like because no one is going to watch it."

Students fight back 

West Virginia University Party Students

Once I'm Shmacked became more mainstream, and news outlets near college towns started airing some of the wild footage, many college students joined administrators in worrying about the repercussions of the videos.

A Pennsylvania State University student who requested anonymity told Business Insider I'm Shmacked's popularity has been waning at the notorious party school.

"A lot of the frats will tell [I'm Shmacked] to stop taping us or won’t let [them] in," she said. "People used to make it a big deal, people thought it was awesome, but now it’s very much overrated, at least at Penn State ... It had more of an appeal when social media wasn’t quite as big, but now there are so many different accounts that show hot girls at big party schools."

And some students agree the videos don't paint an entirely accurate picture of a school's culture. 

A student from the University of Colorado, Boulder, who also wanted to remain anonymous, told Business Insider that I'm Shmacked is "really good at making an average college party look really cool."

Corey Farris, dean of students at West Virginia University, said that when I'm Shmacked first came to campus, it was "sort of a novel thing," but that wore off with subsequent visits.

"When I'm Shmacked then put out a tweet saying 'We're coming back' … the students were quite vocal with what they said," Farris said. "We watched social media that said go away, you're not welcome here. ... When they did show up, they went near some of our Greek houses, and [the students] said 'Get away, you're not allowed to film our house.'"

Some students have complained on Twitter that the I'm Shmacked videos brought too much negative attention to the school, causing the administration to crack down on the party scene in an effort avoid more damage to the school's reputation:

Of course, not all students are over I'm Shmacked. Some students have also taken to Twitter to talk about how much they love the videos and can't wait to get back to school and start partying.

SEE ALSO: 3 People Were Arrested After Thousands Of University Of Delaware Students Rioted In The Streets

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12 Pictures That Will Make You Want To See Bolivia's Breathtaking Salt Flats


A few years ago, while flipping through an in-flight magazine on an airplane, photographer and world traveler Bharat Ranjan read a tiny blurb about Uyuni, a small city in southwest Bolivia, which is home to magnificent salt flat. Ranjan immediately wanted to go. 

A salt flat, or salt pan, is a large, smooth area of land, usually found in a desert, that is covered in salt or other minerals. They shine white when the sun hits them, making for a very beautiful and striking sight. The Salt Flats at Uyuni, or Salar de Uyuni, are 4,086 square miles, almost 100 times the size of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, making them the largest salt  flats in the world.

While on a trip to Machu Picchu in Peru, Ranjan remembered Uyuni and decided to plan a trip to Bolivia, which borders Peru, to see the place in person. What he saw was more amazing that he could have even hoped.

To get to the salt flat, known as the Salar de Uyuni, Ranjan had to travel via a 20-seat propeller plane from La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. He went in June, which is wintertime in the Southern Hemisphere.Uyuni Salt FlatsHe stayed at the Luna Salada Hotel on the edge of the salt flat. Almost everything in the hotel is made from salt bricks. You can see more of the hotel here.Uyuni Salt FlatsDuring the day, Ranjan explored the salt flats. The landscape is very desolate with no distinguishing features besides the massive expanse of white. Due to freezing and thawing of the crystalline salt, the ground forms crusted hexagonal plates in large areas.Uyuni salt flatsEvery once in a while, the white is broken by pools of water fed by underground springs. Uyuni Salt FlatsThe area is not totally lacking in plants and animals. Believe it or not, Pink Flamingos live in the Salar, as do several other types of birds, foxes, and Viscachas, which are similar to rabbits.A mineral rich mountain in the middle of the Salar also makes a home for the pink flamingoAnd, of course, the sunsets are unbelievably beautiful.uyuni salt flatsThe pyramids of salt you see are piled there by the salt miners who harvest the area for its minerals. They collect sodium, potassium, magnesium, borax, and lithium, which is the most lucrative. Some of the salt is mined to be used on roads or on the dining table. Harvesters pile them into conical shapes for easy loadingBecause the Bolivian government does not want exploitation of the Salar, no mining facilities exist on the flat, which allows them to stay beautiful and undepleted.Uyuni salt flatsConservation was not always the norm, though. In the 1800s, train tracks were built, and Uyuni was a hub for transportation. But the trains were never successful, due in part to the uproar the tracks created with the indigenous communities in the area. Today, only one train track is still in function. Uyuni Train TrackTourists can, however, visit the train graveyard, which features antique engines and train cars from days past.Uyuni Train graveyardUyuni, the city near the Salar which shares the same name, is described by Ranjan as being similar to a "shanty town" where most buildings outside of the center don't have electricity. The busiest spot in town is definitely the gas station, Ranjan says.Uyuni is a small town that only exists because of the Salar and the ever growing mining activities for Lithium (1)Many miners come to town after a long day of work to visit the local bars. In his time in the city, Ranjan says he had impossible time finding hot sauce, of all things. The salt flats of Uyuni truly are one of the most beautiful and serene places on Earth. A bucket list destination for sure.Uyuni Salt Flats

SEE ALSO:  Inside Florida's Beautiful And Strange Mermaid Theme Park

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I Went To A Golf Heaven In The Middle Of Nowhere And It Was Even Better Than I Could Have Imagined


Bandon Dunes 35

In the mid-1990s a millionaire named Mike Keiser decided to buy 1,200 acres of coastal property in a remote area of Oregon. 

Keiser made his millions through his own greeting-card company called Recycled Paper Greetings. He was a golf nut from the time he was young. After building a 9-hole course in Michigan in the '80s, he searched for years hoping to find a property to build a proper links-style course.

When he was close to giving up, he got a call about property in Bandon, Oregon, which is about four hours south of Portland. By 1999, he had his first course on the property, Bandon Dunes, built by David McLay Kidd, a first-time golf-course architect from Scotland. 

Today, there are five courses, including four full a 18-holes and a 13-hole par-3 course. The courses, in order of when they were built, are: Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails, Old MacDonald, and the 13-hole Bandon Preserve. All of the courses sit on a magnificent property and are designed by this generation's greatest golf-course designers.

Additionally, there is a practice area that has a driving range, short-game area, putting green, and a 9-hole par-3 course called "Shorty's" that is designed to help you warm up before a round. The resort also has the "Punch Bowl," which is an 18-hole putting course filled with curves and mounds. It's basically mini-golf for adults.

If this sounds like golf heaven, that's because it is. And I got to experience it this August. I spent four days and three nights at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. In that time I played everything except the Punch Bowl. I played Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, and Bandon Preserve twice. I played Shorty's and Old MacDonald one and a half times. I played Bandon Trails once. 

It was exhausting and amazing. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes golf even a little bit. As with just about everyone else on the property, I took a ton of photos to try to capture what it's like at Bandon Dunes. 

After a four-hour drive from Portland, I finally arrived at Bandon Dunes.

The actual resort is set in a ways from the road, so if you have to go to the bathroom, don't think you're off the hook as soon as you turn in!

I checked in, but my room wasn't ready, so I headed to the range. After hitting a few shots, I played Shorty's, the 9-hole warmup course. This is hole 9, which is about 150 yards into the wind.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Calling All Marketing Decision Makers — Please Take Our Short Survey


mad men emmy poster don

Do you hold the keys to your company's marketing budget?

If so, we’d like to hear from you.

How are you allocating your advertising dollars? Is "native" just another buzzword or the next big thing? How firm is your grasp on the ever-changing programmatic landscape?

Whether you represent an agency, brand, publisher, or ad-tech firm, we’d like to hear from you. 

Take the survey by clicking here

Thanks in advance for your candid answers.

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Step Inside The Swankiest New Hotel In New York City


park hyatt new york view spa

Earlier this month, the luxury hotel chain Park Hyatt opened its flagship New York location, Park Hyatt New York.

Housed inside the near-complete condo One57 on 57th Street, Park Hyatt is 25 floors of sheer elegance and opulence.

Rumor has it Park Hyatt New York could become the first new five-star hotel in New York in more than 11 years. The rating is determined by the venerable Forbes Travel Guide, which will send an inspector (and a second anonymous inspector) to review the hotel in the next six months.

New York currently has eight 5-star hotels, the 11-year-old Mandarin Oriental being the most recently anointed. Should Park Hyatt qualify for the Forbes Travel Guide's top rating, it has to go above and beyond, providing "room amenities including fresh flowers and wine by the glass presented in the bottle and poured by room-service staff."

We recently toured the Park Hyatt New York and a 530-square-foot Park Studio Suite, available for $1,295 a night on average, to see what the team is doing to meet these standards.

This is One57, the super-luxury high-rise sitting on "Billionaires' Row" just south of Central Park. The lower 25 floors make up Park Hyatt New York, which opened in late August.

While One57 residents and Park Hyatt guests share some amenities, there's a pretty clear distinction between the building's two functions. Residents and guests have separate entrances on 57th Street.

Inside the lobby, a "host" is there to greet you. He or she will check you in, hand off your luggage, and escort you all the way to your room.

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The CEO Of Warner Music Just Sold This Fifth Avenue Penthouse For $35 Million


1136 Fifth

Warner Music Group CEO Stephen Cooper sold his Fifth avenue penthouse for $35 million, according to The Real Deal.

Cooper sold the pad to Anton Levy, a managing director at the private investment firm General Atlantic, for $5 million above the asking price.

Cooper originally purchased the apartment in 2004 for $20 million.

If this apartment looks familiar to you, then you probably watch too much TV. CW's drama "Gossip Girl" used the building's exterior in its opening credits.

The living room belongs on the cover of an upscale interior decorating magazine.

Here is one of the four bedrooms. It's probably not a good idea to wear shoes in here.

The fruit bowl and tulips liven up the austere, modern kitchen.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

All Of Europe Is Panic-Buying High-Powered Vacuum Cleaners Before They Become Illegal


Vacuum Cleaner

A European Union restriction on high-powered vacuum cleaners that took effect on Sept. 1 has sent wall-to-wall carpet enthusiasts into a panic, with consumers rushing out to stock up on the high-powered devices before the ban ends supplies.

Under the new restriction, manufacturers will no longer be able to make vacuum cleaners that use more than 1,600 Watts of power and European retailers can't import any models that exceed the limit. The rule is intended to make cleaners more efficient and more environmentally friendly. High-powered vacuum cleaners that are already in E.U. countries can still be sold— so you still have time to hightail it to a store. 

Feeding into the paranoia, consumer website Which? posted an alert at the end of August advising those in the market for a powerful vacuum to "act quickly, before all of the models currently available sell out." The organization noted that most of its models rated as a Best Buy had motor sizes over 1,600 Watts, the E.U.'s new upper-limit.  

The shopping frenzy has sent vacuum sales in the U.K. through the roof. Tesco, Britain's biggest supermarket, reported a 44% increase in sales on 2,000-Watt models in the two-week lead-up to the ban, The Guardian said. Last Friday, online appliance retailer AO.com "reported its best ever day for vacuum cleaner sales," the website added.

The consumer reaction contradicts the fundamental goal of the new regulation: To lower overall energy consumption throughout the E.U. This, in turn, will save costs while reducing emissions that contribute to climate change that come from producing electricity.

The new law will save enough energy in the E.U. by 2020 to power the London Underground for two decades, equivalent to 19 terrawatt hours of electricity, the EU has said.

label_vacuum_cleaners_generalThe restriction complies with a new labeling system that provides an A to G rating (already used for washing machines and refrigerators) for energy efficiency.

The long-term economic and environmental benefits have not done much to quell the outrage of some consumers. These aren't just people who are worried they'll never be able to properly dust up crumbs from the floor again. Much of the hype "appears to be motivated more by a dislike of Europe than any rational analysis of the facts,” Robert Gross, director of the Center for Energy Policy and Technology at London's Imperial College, told The Independent.

In reaction to public alarm about the future of vacuum cleaners, the EU issued a statement in June to smother concerns.

"Less power does not mean less performance," the EU stated. "The aim is to give consumers a better deal all round with vacuum cleaners that suck up more dirt, use less electricity, help keep energy bills down and are better for the environment. Inefficiently designed models will be phased out."

Other experts agree. AO.com's Leanne Beswick told The Telegraph: “Even though these particular models will eventually be off the market, this doesn’t mean that new and other existing models are any less effective — they are not. 

Even Which?, the organization blamed for fueling the shopper hysteria, called the restriction "great news" that has the potential to "cut some of the very poor models from the market."

In other vacuum news, Dyson showed off a new robot vacuum on Thursday, the 360 Eye, which is the culmination of "16 years and £28m ($36.7 million) worth of research and development by a team of more than 200 Dyson engineers." But it won't be available in the U.K. until next year. So sit tight. 


Dyson 360 Eye

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Vacuum Cleaners On The Market

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13 Surprising Ways Your Name Affects Your Success


Name tagsWhat's in a name? Potentially your future.

A host of research shows just how much your name can affect your lifetime success, from your hireability to your spending habits.

We took a look at the research and have highlighted some of the surprising findings below:

If your name is easy to pronounce, people will favor you more.

In a New York University study, researchers found that people with easier-to-pronounce names often have higher-status positions at work. One of the psychologists, Adam Alter, explains to Wired, "When we can process a piece of information more easily, when it's easier to comprehend, we come to like it more." In a further study, Alter also found that companies with simpler names and ticker symbols performed better in the stock market. 

If your name is common, you are more likely to be hired.

In a study by Marquette University, names that were viewed as the least unique were more likable. People with common names were more likely to be hired, and those with rare names were least likely to be hired. That means that the Jameses, Marys, Johns, and Patricias of the world are in luck.

If your name is uncommon, you are more likely to be a delinquent.

A study at Shippensburg University revealed that there is a strong relationship between the popularity of one's first name and juvenile delinquency. Researchers found that unpopular names were positively correlated with juvenile delinquency. While the names themselves are probably not the cause of the criminal activity, they may be related to factors that increase one's tendency toward juvenile delinquency, such as low socioeconomic status.

If you have a white-sounding name, you're more likely to get hired.

In one study cited by The Atlantic, white-sounding names like Emily Walsh and Greg Baker got nearly 50% more callbacks than candidates with black-sounding names like Lakisha Washington and Jamal Jones. Researchers determined that having a white-sounding name is worth as much as eight years of work experience.

If your name is closer to the beginning of the alphabet, you might get into a better school.

In a study published in the Economics of Education Review, researchers studied the relationship between the position in the alphabet of students' names and their admission chances at competitive schools. The earlier in the alphabet a name came, the more likely they were to be admitted.

If your last name is closer to the end of the alphabet, you're more likely to be an impulse spender.

According to one study, people with last names such as Yardley or Zabar may be more susceptible to promotional strategies like limited-time offers. The authors speculate that spending your childhood at the end of the roll call may make you want to jump on offers before you miss the chance.

You are more likely to work in a company that matches your initials.

Since we identify with our names, we prefer things that are similar to them. In a Ghent University study, researchers found that people are more likely to work for companies matching their own initials. For example, Amanda might work for Amazon. The rarer the initials, the more likely people were to work for companies with names similar to their own. 

Using your middle initial makes people think you're smarter and more competent.

According to research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, using a middle initial increases people's perceptions of your intellectual capacity and performance. In one study, students were asked to rate an essay with one of four styles of author names. Not only did the authors with a middle initial receive top marks, but the one with the most initials, David F.P.R. Clark, received the best reviews.

If your name sounds noble, you are more likely to work in a high-ranking position.

In a European study, researchers studied German names and ranks within companies. Those with last names such as Kaiser ("emperor") or König ("king") were in more managerial positions than those with last names that referred to common occupations, such as Koch ("cook") or Bauer ("farmer"). This is because of associative cognition, which means that the status linked to your name may influence how people view you. 

If you are a boy with a girl's name, you are more likely to be suspended from school.

Northwestern Universityresearchers studied a large Florida school district from 1996 to 2000 and found that boys with names most commonly given to girls misbehaved more in middle school and were more likely to disrupt their peers. Their behavioral problems also led to increased disciplinary problems and lower test scores for their friends as well.

If you are a woman with a sexually ambiguous name, you are more likely to succeed.

According to The Atlantic, in male-dominated fields such as engineering and law, women with "sexually ambiguous" names are more successful. One studyfound that women with masculine names, such as Leslie, Jan, or Cameron, are more successful in legal careers.

Men with shorter first names are overrepresented in the c-suite.

In 2011, LinkedIn analyzed more than 100 million user profiles to find out which names are most associated with the CEO position. The most common names for men were short, often one-syllable names like Bob, Jack, and Bruce. A name specialist speculates that men in power may use nicknames to offer a sense of friendliness and openness. 

Women at the top are more likely to use their full names.

In the same study, LinkedIn researchers found that the most common names of female CEOs include Deborah, Cynthia, and Carolyn. Unlike the men, women may use their full names in an attempt to project professionalism and gravitas, according to the report. 

NOW WATCH: We Can Guess Your Name Based On What State You Live In

SEE ALSO: Here's Why Using Your Middle Initial Makes You Look Smarter

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Here's How We Came Up With Our List Of The World's Best Hotels


The best hotels 3x4

We recently published our list of the Best Hotels In The World. 

To create it, we aggregated four notable hotel rankings: Travel + Leisure's World's Best Hotel AwardsCondé Nast Traveler's Top 100 Hotels & Resorts (part of its annual Reader's Choice Awards), TripAdvisor's Top 25 Hotels In The World (part of its annual Travelers' Choice Awards), and the Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards

We gave each hotel a numerical rating based on how many lists it appeared on and how high it appeared on the lists that were ranked. Hotels that appeared on all four lists ranked higher on our list, while hotels that ranked on only one of these lists ended up closer to the bottom.

For Travel + Leisure's and Condé Nast Traveler's lists, which were both ranked one to 100, we calculated the score by using the following formula: 100-X (hotel ranking) + 1 / 100. With this formula, the highest possible score is 0.99 and the lowest score is 0.

For TripAdvisor's list, which was ranked out of 25, we calculated the score with this formula: 25-X (hotel ranking) + 1 /25.

Each time a hotel appeared on the Fodor's list, we gave it a score of 0.25, since the hotels on that list were not ranked.

Because we felt that Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler were more prestigious rankings, we weighted those rankings more heavily. 

We then tallied up the scores to create the final ranking. 

Here is the spreadsheet showing our calculations (click to enlarge):

Best Hotels 2014 Spreadsheet

SEE ALSO: The 26 Best Hotels In The World

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What It's Like To Stay In The World's Best Hotel, Where Guests Are Treated Like Indian Royalty


Oberoi Udaivilas

We recently published a list of the Best Hotels In The World, and the Oberoi Udaivilas took the number one spot on our list.

Located in Udaipur, in the state of Rajasthan, the Oberoi Udaivilas is a romantic hotel that was built to resemble a traditional Indian palace—and it certainly embodies all the luxury of one.

With luxurious amenities like private pools and butler service, a romantic setting, and over-the-top service, the hotel stands out as an exceptional lodging option in a country filled with incredible luxury—for those who can afford it.

Rates for the Oberoi Udaivilas start at about $430 per night.

Guests arrive at the hotel by a private boat ride across Lake Pichola.

When they reach the entrance, they'll see grand architecture that was inspired by the traditional palaces of Rajasthan.

The hotel has remarkable architectural details, like traditional pavilions and domes.

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The 26 Best Hotels In The World


World's Best Hotels 2x1The average cost of a luxury hotel is as much as $660 a night at some destinations. If you're shelling out that much money for a single night, you want to make sure you get pampered with stellar service and over-the-top amenities — and plenty of hotels deliver.

We've created the ultimate list of the best hotels in the world by aggregating four notable hotel rankings made by elite travel publications and websites.

The rankings we used were Travel + Leisure's World's Best Hotel AwardsCondé Nast Traveler's Top 100 Hotels & Resorts (part of its annual Reader's Choice Awards), TripAdvisor's Top 25 Hotels In The World (part of its annual Travelers' Choice Awards), and the Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards.

You can read our complete methodology and see numerical scores here.

26. Nayara Springs

Arenal National Park, Costa Rica

Located in the heart of Arenal Volcano National Park, Nayara Springs allows guests to immerse themselves in nature while still enjoying all the amenities of a luxury hotel, like a gorgeous spa, fine restaurants, daily yoga classes, Spanish lessons, and insanely luxurious guest rooms, which feature private plunge pools fed by natural mineral hot springs. 

It took the No. 2 spot on Travel + Leisure's list.

Rooms start at about $500 per night.

Nayara Springs

Nayara Springs

25. Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa (formerly The Chedi)

Chiang Mai, Thailand

This premier hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand, rebranded as an Anantara property in November 2013, but it remains one of the top hotels in northern Thailand. It's on the Mae Ping River on the former grounds of the British consulate. It feels historic with modern amenities.

The hotel ranked on both Fodor's and Condé Nast Traveler.

Rooms start at about $200 per night.

The Chedi Chiang Mai


24. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs (TIE)

North Island, New Zealand

This remote New Zealand hotel took the top spot on our list of the World's Best Hotels last year, but now sits at No. 24. The private retreat is located on 6,000 acres and has golf, tennis, beach access, an infinity pool, and a renowned spa to keep guests entertained.

The hotel tied for No. 1 on Condé Nast Traveler's list, but didn't make any other lists on our ranking.

Rooms start at about $1,290 per night.

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs


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How To Make Sure You Never Forget Your Passwords Again

Why Lima, Peru Has The Best Food In South America


Central Resturant in Lima Peru

Central, a restaurant in Lima, Peru, was just named the best restaurant in Latin America by the Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Awards.

Under chef Virgilio Martinez, Central restaurant is renowned for its unique menu that mixes local ingredients with modern culinary techniques.

Dishes include appetizers such as "pisco sour with coca leaves" and entrées like "tiradito served with tiger’s milk ceviche." The restaurant, which is located right in the city of Lima, also has its own orchard and garden from which the chefs source many of its ingredients. 

Presentation is also very important for these molecular gastronomy dishes, and chef Martinez creates works of art in each dish.

The tasting menu at Central costs about $100 per person.

The No. 2 restaurant on the list, Astrid y Gastón, is also located in Lima. In total, eight of 50 restaurants in Lima made the list, including Maido (No. 7), Malabar (No. 11), La Mar (No. 15), Fiesta (No. 20), Rafael (No. 27), La Picantería (No. 31), 

It's no surprise that Lima restaurants reigned over thist list. The Peruvian city has been a growing destination for foodies over the last several years, and is renowned for its excellent food, whether its from a Michelin-starred restaurants or a hole-in-the-wall cevicheria.

São Paulo and Mexico City also represented heavily on this list, proving themselves to be other hot foodie cities in Latin America. 

Below are the top 10 restaurants in Latin America. Click here to see the full list.

  1. Central: Lima, Peru
  2. Astrid y Gastón: Lima, Peru
  3. D.O.M.: São Paulo, Brazil
  4. Maní: São Paulo, Brazil
  5. Boragó: Santiago, Chile
  6. Pujol: Mexico City, Mexico
  7. Maido: Lima, Peru
  8. Biko: Mexico City, Mexico
  9. Tegui: Buenos Aires, Argentina
  10. Quintonil: Mexico City, Mexico 

SEE ALSO: The 45 Best Restaurants In America

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